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Eutelsat 21B satellite lofted in space, commercial launch by mid-Dec

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MUMBAI: Eutelsat 21B satellite, which will have a fleet of 40 transponders, was lofted into space on Sunday by an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana.

Manoeuvres to circularise the new satellite’s orbit and place it into its operational configuration are now underway, managed by Eutelsat from its Rambouillet teleport, using a global network of earth stations. This will be followed by in-orbit testing before Eutelsat 21B enters full commercial service in mid-December.

Commenting after launch and first manoeuvres, Eutelsat CEO Michel de Rosen said, “Eutelsat 21B is the first of seven satellites we will launch by mid-2015 to increase our commercial flexibility and our overall resources by almost 30 per cent. We are delighted to see this new satellite on its way to an orbital location that is a point of reference for customers providing professional video, data and government applications in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia."

The 40-transponder Eutelsat 21B Ku-band satellite will occupy the 21.5° East position, which has become a location of choice for broadcasters, news agencies, telcos, enterprises and government administrations. Its deployment is expected to enable Eutelsat to expand capacity at this sought-after location by more than 50 per cent.

The satellite will replace Eutelsat 21A which will continue commercial service at another orbital location. Eutelsat’s 70.5° East orbital position that sits at the crossroads between Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.

Eutelsat’s launch programme progresses with the lift-off, scheduled for early December, of the Eutelsat 70B satellite, designed to more than double resources at Eutelsat's 70.5° East orbital position that sits at the crossroads between Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.

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